Retire peacefully or be forced, MCP MP warns Tembo

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Nkhotakota Central Member of Parliament, Edwin Banda, who has expressed interest to contest in the 2014 presidential race, has called on the party’s veteran leader John Tembo to retire peacefully before he is forced out.

Banda, speaking on Capital FM’s Straight Talk interview programme monitored by Nyasa Times on Tuesday, said 79-year-old opposition leader should give an opportunity to those who can do a better job in the interest of party.

The presidential aspirant said Tembo is barred by the party constitution to contest for the presidency under the MCP ticket for the consecutive third time.

Edwin Banda: Aspires for presidential run

Tembo however believes that the convention can have the powers to amend the constitution to allow him stand in 2014.

“He will not-stand for presidency at the convention and he should not lead MCP come 2014.That will be antagonizing Malawi Congress Party constitution,” said Banda.

But the Nkhotakota Central MP said he believes Tembo will respect the constitution by throwing in the towel and give a chance to others to represent the party during 2014 general elections.

“He is a law abiding citizen, he respect the rule of law. He is a democrat.”

“I see him as a person who is ready to respect the Malawi Congress Party constitution,” he said.

Tembo is on record saying he might run in the 2014 elections if the party nominated him as presidential candidate. He said the constitution is a living document which is subject to be amended by party members at a convention.

Banda, a lawyer by training, nonetheless warned that if Tembo fails to voluntarily step down, he will be forced to do so.

“If he is not ready himself then he will be made ready,” said Banda.

“He is such a man that before 2014 he will come to an end of his term,”he added.

According to Banda, MCP remains the strongest party in the country hence it stands a chance of winning the next general elections if it field another democratically elected presidential candidate.

Banda said he qualifies to be a president of Malawi and said when he starts his campaign “I will shake the ground.”

He said it is his “right” to aspire for presidency and that nobody should block him from achieving his ambition.

Banda said he does not “belittle” the veteran politician but if Tembo “intends to go beyond his term then definitely he is [going to face] that challenge.”

Banda became MP in 2009.

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